HUNTSVILLE, Texas – HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A man convicted of fatally shooting a Dallas hospital worker during a carjacking more than 17 years ago was executed Wednesday night in Texas, marking the 12th lethal injection this year in the nation's busiest execution state.
George Jones, 36, exhausted his court appeals and his lawyer made no last-day attempts to block the execution. Jones was arrested five months after the body of Forest Hall, 22, was found along a rural road near Lancaster, about 15 miles south of Dallas, in April 1993.
When the prison warden asked if he had a final statement, Jones thanked his parents "who have been my pillar of strength" and his siblings. They didn't witness the execution, but some of Hall's relatives watched through a window. Jones told them he hoped the punishment "brings you closure or some type of peace."
Prosecutors said Hall, an employee at Parkland Memorial Hospital, was shot twice in the head after he was abducted and his car was taken from a Dallas shopping mall. A forensic examiner testified that Jones signed a pawn slip for the tires and rims that were stripped from Hall's car, and its stereo and speakers were found at Jones' home.
Jones acknowledged being a drug dealer but said prosecutors wrongly tied him to 21 crimes, including the killing of a Dallas woman shortly before his arrest. The woman's brother and sister also witnessed Jones' execution Wednesday.
Jones was arrested after being implicated by an accomplice, Derrick Rodgers, who plea-bargained for a 22-year prison term. In a written confession, Jones blamed Rodgers but said he accidentally shot Hall once in self-defense. Jones said the confession was written by police, but it was allowed during his 1995 trial.
Two more executions are scheduled for Texas this month.